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Triple crown? Three area teams set for state championship shot

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
Northeast Georgia football will be taking up residence in Atlanta next weekend.

It wasn't a clean sweep, but three area teams stormed their way to the Georgia Dome and the championship round next Friday and Saturday.

Buford will be back in a venue almost considered a winter home for the Wolves, while Gainesville will take another shot at glory after just missing out in 2009. And, in Class AA, Jefferson will continue its historic run, reaching the championship tilt for the first time since 1977.

Scroll down to watch highlights of Gainesville's and North Hall's semifinal contests.

St. Pius kept the Class AAA championship from being an all-Region 7-AAA affair, knocking North Hall out of a shot at its first state crown, 31-6 in Atlanta. The Trojans only came up 12 yards short of the Golden Lions on the stat sheet, but Pius scored 24 unanswered points to seal the home win and bring North Hall's tremendous season to a close.

Now Pius must face a Buford team ready to bounce back from last season's Dome disappointment.

The Wolves fell in overtime to Calhoun in last year's Class AA championship and steamed into their first Class AAA title showdown courtesy a 21-10 defeat of Cartersville.

Buford trailed 10-7 but stormed back with two straight touchdowns to notch their sixth straight trip to the title game. The Wolves will battle the Golden Lions at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Atlanta.

Gainesville, meanwhile, will take on Ware County at 8:30 p.m. Friday for the Class AAAAA crown after shaking off Whitewater in Fayetteville, 28-14.

The Red Elephants choked off the Wildcats' rushing attack and rolled up 414 yards of offense, including a 28-6 lead at the start of the third quarter. Deshaun Watson did miss out on setting the GHSA career passing yardage mark -- for now -- and the junior could care less considering what's on the line next week.

Despite its perennial powerhouse status, Gainesville has yet to claim a GHSA crown and will look to end its drought next week.

On Saturday (Dec. 15), Jefferson will attempt to the do the same as it takes on defending Class AA champ Calhoun at 2:30 p.m.

The Dragons earned their first state championship shot in 35 years courtesy a 42-14 drubbing of Greater Atlanta Christian on Friday.

Jefferson bounced back from last week's draining, three-overtime defeat of Fitzgerald in style, winning its 13th straight game and will look to keep Calhoun from claiming its 30th straight victory.


SEMIFINAL RESULTS FOR AREA FOOTBALL TEAMS, Dec. 7

Buford 21, Cartersville 10

Gainesville 28, Whitewater 14

Jefferson 42, Greater Atlanta Christian 14

St. Pius X 31, North Hall 6


STATE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE FOR AREA TEAMS
At the Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Dec. 14
5:30 p.m., Class AAA, Buford vs. St. Pius
8:30 p.m., Class AAAAA, Gainesville vs. Ware County

Dec. 15
2:30 p.m., Class AA, Jefferson vs. Calhoun


VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Gainesville 28, Whitewater 14

Highlights: Gainesville vs Whitewater from WDUN TV on Vimeo.



St. Pius 31, North Hall 6

Highlights: North Hall vs St Pius from WDUN TV on Vimeo.

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